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3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  119 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A vivid and gripping portrait of a spy at every stage of his life and career, from the son of a spymaster who became a spy himself.

Larry Kolb was born into a house of spies. Raised all over the world as the son of a high-ranking American spymaster, Kolb was taught by his father to think, look, and listen like a spy. But when Kolb himself was recruited to join the CIA, he
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published October 7th 2004 by Riverhead Hardcover (first published 2004)
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May 13, 2009 Eric rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish it. I got about 1/3 through. The author is very vain. The stories aren't that exciting, and very little about the first third of the book explains anything about the CIA. Very boring read in my opinion.
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Overwrought autobiography by Kolb, the son of a "spy" (US intelligence officer stationed in many overseas locations), full of melodramatic scenes of questionable veracity and endless name-dropping.

If taken as a semi-true story (JB song title), reads like OK fiction.

See Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy by Leslie Moran for similar and more believable telling of the life of a CIA case officer. Moran's more matter-of-fact telling and lack of "gee whiz!" pseudo-spy attitude in fact confirms Kol
Richard Copley
Apr 12, 2013 Richard Copley rated it liked it
A mixture of some. Really interesting stuff and name dropping. There were times when I forgot what the book was about with him constantly banging on about Mohammad Ali.

Some serious vanity and I had been curious about what he could have done in India that could be so exciting , as I was not already aware of the story. And my god it couldn't have been more mundane.

But that aside, it turned out to be everything else that made the book worth reading.
Feb 15, 2012 Gavin rated it did not like it
Started slow and got slower...

Got tired of hearing his stories clearly told through the self praising filter he applied.

200+ pages in and suddenly realised I just didn't care to hear any more.

Michael David Cobb
Jan 15, 2009 Michael David Cobb rated it it was amazing
Finally, after about six months, I have finished reading Larry J. Kolb's 'Overworld'. This book is rather like the spy book I've always wanted to read but never quite thought would get written. It is, unlike every other book about espionage, written in a way that is in no way suffused with the deadening patriotic backstory that flattens so many other verisimilitudes. Real names, real places, real dates, real enough and yet fake enough - the truth about spying, indeed about human history is all m ...more
May 13, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Hanging chads, Iran-Contra, the madhouse political intrigue in India, and the exchange of unimaginable clandestine wealth: multidimensional schemes behind everything reflected in the news. Kolb shares decades of backroom stories from across the globe, starting during the foreign service exploits of his father and later with his career screeching to a halt when he becomes a pawn in a foreign political coup.

I found his writing engaging. This (anti-007) very human person, drawn into intellige
Jan 16, 2014 Julia rated it it was amazing
Intriguing, bizarre, insightful and many more adjectives could describe this book. We all sit around in our simple (but exciting to us) lives and meanwhile all of this scheming and spying is going on. Absolutely fascinating!! He tells the story of his life like a novel and with such honesty. Some say he name drops but actually that's just his life, those are the people in his life. Would definitely recommend it.
Oct 12, 2009 Robert rated it liked it
Interesting story about Larry Kolb who was recruited by the CIA because of his personal connections. This guy had a super interesting life schmoozing with the rich/famous/royalty but perhaps a bit fictionalized by himself. Who knows.
May 14, 2009 Gerrym rated it really liked it
great read, eye opener, maybe not literature, I am not one to judge on that level, but well worth the time, because i love nonfiction and personal history, this was a book to enjoy. modern, real life, interesting. I will go back to my boring life now!
Jul 03, 2007 Kayla rated it liked it
It started out a little slow. I didn't expect to hear so much about his younger years but his life was pretty fascinating so that helped. He tied it all up very well in the end.
Tony Moore
Aug 17, 2007 Tony Moore rated it really liked it
Life and times (memoir) of a spy from a family of spies. Good stuff and tells sneaky things about the US gov that I, for one, hadn't heard about before.
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